Why Focus on Ecosystem Gardening When There is So Much Wrong in the World?

Sea Birds in Danger from Ocean Pollution, Overfishing, and Loss of Nesting Habitat

I was asked earlier this week why I would be such an advocate for Ecosystem Gardening and creating welcoming habitat for wildlife in our gardens when there is so much wrong in the world. And my simple answer:

Advocacy and activism are great, but action is even better!

The long answer is a bit more complicated.

Yes, I know that our food supply is in grave danger as Monsanto tries to control the whole thing and introduce their nasty GMO seeds all over the world. I’m thankful that so many other countries have banned GMO food and demanded that these products be labeled. I wish the US would wake up before it’s too late.

I also know that Scotts Miracle Gro continues to sell toxic chemicals that kill wildlife.  Scotts Miracle Gro has also pleaded guilty to selling pesticide-tainted birdseed.

I have a sneaking suspicion that even though the National Wildlife Federation announced that they would terminate their partnership with Scotts Miracle Gro, that nothing has really changed, that they continue to partner with this company and fully expect that none of us will notice.

Polar Bears are in grave danger as the polar ice melts and their future is more and more uncertain.

We continue to clear cut the rainforest at an alarming and unsustainable rate.

Our oceans are becoming a giant trash bin, we’re killing our reefs, overfishing, and allowing toxic chemicals to enter our streams and waterways and end up in the ocean, polluting and killing everything in its path.

Global climate change is happening right in front of us, and yet we refuse to take responsibility for our own actions.

Unarmed teenage boys are murdered on the street for no other reason than the color of their skin.

Women’s health care may become a thing of the past.

And the list goes on and on, endlessly reminding us that we have to work harder, we have to keep protesting, we have to keep advocating for change. We have so much work to do to make the world a better place, we simply cannot give up now.

Advocacy and activism can be incredibly powerful engines of change. Just recently we have seen so many organizations make unwise choices and then back down in the face of public outrage.

We watched Bank of America back down. Also Verizon, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and right here in our own community the National Wildlife Federation has (supposedly) backed down too.


Action is required right now to protect our ecosystems, wildlife, and the native flora that supports them.

And the immediate benefits of creating welcoming habitat for wildlife in your garden cannot be denied. I can think of no other activity that one can see the “If you Build it, They Will Come” principle in action.

Add a wildlife pond and immediately see Dragonflies. Plant Butterfly host plants and watch egg laying happen right away. Add a lot of native plants and watch the birds come in search of insects to feed their chicks.

When you begin to welcome wildlife into your Ecosystem Garden and learn to share your space with them, you are helping protect all of the wildlife of your local area. When you learn to make healthier choices in your garden, you are helping to make your local natural areas and waterways better places for wildlife.

Your wildlife garden has a vital role to play in restoring ecosystem services, creating healthier environments, and protecting wildlife.

When we create welcoming habitats for wildlife in our gardens, we learn to love and respect the birds, butterflies, and other wildlife of our areas, and we are more likely to want to protect their natural habitats.

Someone one said “We cannot protect what we do not know,” and that is the underlying goal of Ecosystem Gardening, to teach you to know and love the wildlife around you. Once you know these amazing and beautiful animals, you will work to protect them and their habitats.

So start taking action right now. The birds, butterflies, pollinators, and other wildlife are counting on you!

For some easy ways to start, check out my latest Healing the Wounds to Wildlife post at Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens.

And don’t forget to share your successes in your wildlife garden here in the comments. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Check out my new free online course Ecosystem Gardening Essentials, 15 free lessons delivered to your inbox every week, teaching you to garden sustainably, conserve natural resources, and create welcoming habitat for wildlife in your garden.

© 2012 – 2013, Carole Sevilla Brown. All rights reserved. This article is the property of EcosystemGardening.com If you are reading this at another site, please report that to us

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  1. says

    Hi, Carole

    My habitat garden is a subversive act. It is “grass roots” activism that can be done by millions of people in small areas for small amounts of money.

    Unless the big companies visit each of the “millions” of gardens to rip out all the plants, there is not much they can do about it.

  2. TeriTreeHugger says

    It is really something to watch the first seed you plant come to life. It changes your mind a bit and your entire perspective on life and ecology might not change over night. But, as you watch something you planted grow, you invest your heart in it and want to protect it. There was a day that information on protecting things gently wasn’t circulated as much as it is now..But now we have options. I took over a garden a couple of years ago and avoided pesticides, and got to see the interconnectedness between frogs and insects. I saw my first live praying mantis in that garden and I started to consider the possibilities of supplying more of my food from that garden. Economising is a valuable thing these days, but my greater sense of reward was from the growing realization of my personal connectedness to things. This makes me want to be more ecologically responsible on so many levels. As I do more, I feel more connected and as I feel more connected I feel more fully alive.

  3. tinafreysd says

    An ecosystem is a natural place or a habitat where it experiences specific abiotic & biotic factors,different from that of another ecosystem,& where plants & animals can sustain themselves & propagate without any stress.

  4. Sophie Cole says

    Reminds me tomorrow is Earth Day! I think we should still continue to help mother nature despite the growing problems. What can you do to help save the Earth?


  5. says

    We need more people like you. Nicely written article. Nature is something that needs to be protected and nourished.

  6. Honeylette Constantino says

    I so agree with you, action is more powerful than rallying against people who pretend to listen yet still continues to cut trees to make way for parking lots or fish for endangered species from Scarborough Shoal. Doing nothing myself I guess I have no absolute right to condemn this people and all I can seem to do is get mad but thanks for the article, I know I can do even the littlest things to save mother Earth.

    Keep it up!

  7. Harold Y. says

    If we don’t care for mother earth, it is also us who will suffer in the end. Right? All those tsunamis and landslides and the like. They’re scary.

    Thanks for sharing!


  8. Shane says

    Yes, we should do something to protect our ecosystems, wildlife, and the like since we are the ones that would benefit from it in the long run. as well as the future generation. Thanks for sharing.

  9. says

    Excellent post as always. Action is under-rated. My first question whenever I find out about something I don’t like is ‘can I do something about it?’ If I can I do. More people should act. Stop waiting around for a big giant solution. It’s our everyday choices that have the biggest impact.
    Alexandra Gnoske recently posted..AlixPix

  10. says


    Put simply, any small action 1) boosts our feelings of having some fraction of power in all the madness and 2) helps so much more than we can imagine, while at the same time giving us relaxation and enjoyment.

    Thank you for this!

  11. Shea says

    Thank you so much for this website. I was feeling really down today about all the things that are wrong with the world and reading this helped pick me up.


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